Mobile device ownership has risen substantially over the past several years. Research indicates that as of this writing, more than six billion people throughout the world own smartphones. All evidence suggests smartphone usage and ownership rates will only continue to grow in the coming years.
Keep this in mind if you own a business or manage a team at an organization. Odds are good your employees already own smartphones and similar mobile devices. Unless you’re on a very tight budget, you may also be able to justify issuing such devices to the few team members who don’t own them.
Some employers spend so much time worrying about the degree to which employees’ mobile devices will distract them from their work that they fail to account for the way these devices can be used to help teams accomplish their goals more efficiently and productively.
The specific ways in which you encourage your workers to leverage the potential benefits their smartphones and tablets may offer might depend at least somewhat on the nature of your company and the industry in which you operate. That said, in general, employee mobile devices can be taken advantage of in the following key ways:
Improving Internal Communications
Implementing (and, when necessary, making adjustments to) a strong internal communications strategy can serve both immediate practical purposes while also yielding less-tangible (but no less valuable) long-term benefits within an organization. For example, in regard to day-to-day operations, the right internal communications strategy can ensure all team members know what tasks they are expected to prioritize. In the long run, consistent and strong internal communications can also help you maintain ideal levels of employee engagement.
However, in an age when remote work policies are becoming increasingly common, it’s often been necessary for team leaders to use technology to make adjustments to how they approach internal communications.
Some have done so by using SMS-based internal communications solutions. True, there are many types of messaging apps and programs available to employers with dispersed workforces now, but they are often costly. Learning how to use them may also be a struggle for some employees. Thus, employers have learned that allowing workers to stay in touch via text messaging is an ideal alternative because most workers already send and receive numerous text messages every day.
Documenting Job Site Conditions
In various industries (such as construction), employees and supervisors often need to document potential hazards and risk factors at job sites before work can begin. This was once a tedious process much of the time.
That no longer needs to be the case. For example, someone assessing the hazards at a given job site can now easily use their phone to take pictures of risk factors and send them to employers, clients, regulatory agencies, etc. This allows them to address basic safety issues without sacrificing efficiency.
It’s not uncommon for companies to now hire developers to create mobile apps for both their employees and customers. Often, these mobile apps (particularly the customer-facing ones) serve to boost brand awareness and engagement.
When a customer has a company’s app on their device, instead of visiting a brand’s website, which gives them the freedom to more easily head to another site and engage with a different brand, they are more likely to engage with that brand on a consistent basis. This can result in greater brand loyalty. It can also yield greater engagement among employees using apps that are designed not for customers, but for team members.
Just remember, this is certainly not an exhaustive list. There are seemingly countless ways mobile devices have helped companies improve their operations at nearly every level. These are simply a few prominent examples.